Silver Knights hope rainouts work to their advantage

Staff photo by TOM KING Silver Knights pitcher Luke Dawson will get the starting nod on Satuirday after the team's game vs. North Shore was rained out on Thursday night.

NASHUA – Another home game, another rainout, and another makeup doubleheader.

Nashua Silver Knights manager B.J. Neverett will take it. Twinbills, especially seven innings each, aren’t as taxing as one might think.

“Not as much as nine inning games every night,” Neverett said Thursday after the Knights game at Holman Stadium vs.North Shore was postponed due to the first half of the day’s heavy rain and the threat of more due in later. “We should have more doubleheaders, and that would give us more days off.”

Neverett said the Futures League has discussed having doubleheaders on Sundays to do just that, but it’s never really gained momentum.

“If we did that,” he said, “teams might be able to take every Monday off, even with an unbalanced schedule. And some teams at some point would have a Sunday and Monday off.”

With his team, Thursday’s rainout, tacked on to an off-day Wednesday, will help the position players even more than resting arms, Neverett said.

“We’re in pretty good shape with pitching,” he said. “But this will help rest some guys who have been banged up.”

That includes starting third baseman Tom Blandini, who has been bothered by a turf toe, and second baseman Tyler Littlefield, who has been out with a hamstring.

“This will help Blandini and Littlefield’s hamstring is getting much better, and he may have been able to play if we had a game (Thursday).”

In any event, barring weather, the Silver Knights, who are in Bristol tonight, have two scheduled off-days before the All-Star break in mid-July – this Tuesday, July 3, and Monday July 9.

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Here are some schedule and promotional changes:

Thursday’s game vs. the Navigators will be made up on Tuesday, July 10, as part of a doubleheader (seven innngs each) starting at 4 p.m.

But meanwhile, one upcoming doubleheader has been altered/rescheduled. Monday’s game vs. Brockton, which was to be a 4 p.m. makeup twinbill, is now back to being a single game beginning at 6:45 p.m.

According to the Knights, the Rox would not have been able to get here on time as they are, as a team, attending a 2 p.m. funeral service of a close relative of one of their players who recently passed away suddenly.

Thursday’s promotions will be added to Monday’s festivities. The game was already set to include post-game fireworks as well as a Military Appreciation Night on-field ceremony honoring veterans. But also, now the team says it will also be a dollar beer/fountain beverage night. Plus, the commemorative Championship Pint Glass giveaway that was supposed to be Thursday will now be on Monday as well. Finally, as part of the Military Appreciation theme on Monday, current and former service persons – and up to eight family members – will be admitted free of charge.

Instead of Monday, the makeup doubleheader with the Rox will now be on Sunday, July 29, beginning at 5:05 p.m.

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Newcomer Mason Pelio, the team’s recent high school grad from San Diego who will be attending Boston College – he is originally from New England – is slated to start tonight vs. Bristol. He would have been the starter had Thursday’s game been played, Neverett said, but perhaps it’s better that he starts on the road.

“I’ve seen kids get nervous when they make their first start here,” he said. “So it might be better for him to do it away in his first game. We’re looking forward to seeing him. He’s thrown well in the bullpen so far, and he’s thrown hard.”

Saturday’s starter vs. Bristol at Holman, Neverett said, will be Luke Dawson (1-0, 3.27), whom Neverett has been pleased with thus far. “He’s done well all year, very consistent,” he said. “He gives us a chance to win every time he goes out there.”

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The next time the Silver Knights face North Shore will be in that July 10 doubleheader, and it should be interesting. Why? Well, the Navigators were found in violation of the FCBL’s pitching rule after their 4-3 win over Nashua in Tuesday’s nightcap. Starter Dylan Gaita earned a complete game (seven innings) victory. But he threw 102 pitches, 12 more than allowed as he had 95 at the end of six, according to Neverett. Pitchers cannot throw more than 90 in a game.

Neverett informed the league, and Navs manager Todd Alford has been suspended one game. The Knights’ manager feels the punishment was too lenient.

“We paid attention,” Neverett said. “It’s too bad, but I think the league should make it an automatic forfeit. There have been guys in this league who have been taken out in the eighth inning with no-hitters. This is more about their careers than it is about winning or losing.”

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More on the injury front:

First baseman-DH Ryan Berardino is fully healthy, Neverett said, as his knee had been sore due to a bruise, not anything structural. Another Nashua top hitter, Thomas Joyce (leg), will be out until the middle of July, Neverett said….

Catcher Mitch Baker (shoulder) and pitcher Derek Duffy (arm woes) are official done for the season. However, starting pitcher Pat Maybach , who has been out the last couple of weeks, is staying with the team in hopes of returning to rotation at some point…

Former Silver Knight Ryan Sullivan will be on hand for his Bobblehead Night on Saturday (6:05 p.m., first 500 fans get the giveaway), throwing out the first pitch and signing autographs during the first part of the game….

Some may have been surprised by Thursday’s postponement as there was an afternoon lull in the precipitation, but, as one staffer said, “The field is a marsh.” And more rain around 5 p.m. likely made it the right call.